Transparency International Georgia positively assesses government decision not to unify security and intelligence services
On November 22nd, Government of Georgia introduced in Parliament legislative amendments to the law on government structure, authority and activities and other 110 related laws, which, among other issues, envisioned unification of State Security Service and Foreign Intelligence Service, as well as, expansion of the authorities of the intelligence agency, including designation of secret employees, to the whole department of State Security Service.
Transparency International Georgia, along with partner organizations, criticized this intention and called upon Parliament of Georgia not to support the proposed amendments. The initiative was also negatively assessed by the monitoring mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE).
Against this background, on December 4th, Government of Georgia, after consultations with Parliament, petitioned the legislative institution and recalled 12 legislative proposals, among them Law on State Security, which envisioned unification of Intelligence Service of Georgia and State Security Service and full restatement of so called “ODR” institute.
Transparency International Georgia welcomes this step, as well as, consideration of opinions expressed by international and local experts.
Reform of the state security system is one of the priorities for the country. Within the project Advocacy for Modern Security System, Transparency International, in cooperation with Center for Human Rights Teaching and Monitoring will present recommendations on the reform in spring 2018. We hope that the reform will be implemented in an open manner, with engagement from experts and as a result we will build state security system with accountability and strong democratic oversight mechanisms.